Heather Deese
Executive Vice President

As Executive Vice President, Heather plays a critical role in assisting the Island Institute’s president, serving as the second-in-command, and providing strategic leadership and professional guidance to the organization. She focuses on synchronizing the organization’s talent and resources and creating external connections to ensure that Island Institute supports real-world positive change through community partnerships.

Heather joined the Island Institute in 2009 and has previously served as Marine Program Director, VP of Programs, VP of Development, and most recently as VP of Research and Strategy. She continues to lead the organization’s collaborative research work in her role as EVP.

With a background in in oceanographic research and the translation, communication, and application of scientific understanding for practical purposes, including marine policy and resource management, Heather’s research has spanned laboratory, observational, and field studies. She spent over five months at sea, conducting research off Antarctica, the North Sea, and many places in between. Before joining Island Institute, Heather worked in a number of positions at the interface between scientists and people who are looking for scientific information to inform their decision-making, including nonprofits, marine industry, and government agencies.

Heather is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Maine in the School of Marine Sciences, and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maine, an M.S. from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution & Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.S. from Georgetown University.

For more information on our recent research work, including Waypoints, visit our Research program page.

Mobile: (207) 233-6550

Work: (207) 594-9209 ext. 112

Email: hdeese@islandinstitute.org